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Moctezuma's Revenge (La venganza de Moctezuma)
Volcanic rock (Roca volcánica)
19.5 x 22.5 x 22 cm
7 5/8 x 8 7/8 x 8 5/8 inch

The name was originally given by the native Mexicans after the arrival of the Spaniards, and after an incident related to corn in Spain. Although it was not very to his liking, corn was free of the taxes imposed by the Spanish government and the Church, so it was cheaper and therefore the ideal food support for people with limited resources. However, when the Spaniards tried to process the corn, they treated it as if it were wheat, discarding the process of nixtamalization that the native Mesoamericans gave to corn. By omitting the process of nixtamalization, corn does not release niacin (or vitamin B3), which is an indispensable element for human food; and by lacking in a diet based only on corn, it resulted in a series of disorders and deficiencies that went so far as to cause the madness and death of those who suffered from the deficiency of this component. This condition cost the lives of many people in Europe. After being investigated by Dr. Gaspar Casal, in Spain this condition was called "Mal de la Rosa" (or pelagra) as seen in his work Natural and Medical History of the Principality of Asturias. In Mexico it was given the name "Vengence of Moctezuma" because the fact of ignoring the native Mesoamericans cost the lives of thousands of Europeans. Remembering the essence of this event, colloquially the name "Moctezuma's Revenge" was redefined to any gastrointestinal condition caused to a foreigner, which were mostly diarrhea.